Leadership

It is often said that not all good managers are good leaders, neither are all good leaders good managers. The business world kind of kept peace with this reality for a long time, but now the tides are turning. With the changing organizational hierarchy, the need to find people who can manage and lead in an equally efficient manner has become crucial. As a matter of fact, management is a one of the most critical leadership skills one needs to confidently control the helm.

Unfortunately, the biggest hurdle faced in nurturing great leadership and management qualities is misunderstanding of the two terms due to their archaic definition. The conventional definition of a leader is a person who makes plans and strategies, and a manager is a person who makes people implement and follow those plans. There is something seriously wrong with these definitions as neither focus on the people, the cornerstone of any organization. Smarter organizations who have evolved with the time have realized that the power and potential lies in the people, and it can be truly realized not by controlling them but by encouraging and empowering them.

Now the new, and naturally improved, definition that works in benefit of the organization as well as each individual associated with is more centered around people, be it the employees, partners, or customers. A true leader is one who inspires people to perform better by realizing their own potential and a manager is the one responsible for creating an environment/system that enables and facilitate people to do so. With the same focus and the same goal, the differences are widely settled and the chances of conflict almost eliminated. So, while it is ideal that leaders should posses good managerial skills and managers should be able to think like leaders, it takes time to develop such aptitude and understanding.

At the end of the day what becomes most important for an organization is to develop a team where leaders and managers share not just the goal but also the values, vision, and most importantly, perspective. Together, they must be able to inspire trust among the people – employees, partners, and clients alike. Most of all, the biggest responsibility that leaders and managers share is to create and provide opportunities to develop leadership and managerial skills among the team, for not even the greatest empire can survive without ensuring a worthy successor.

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Entrepreneurship, Leadership

‘Failure’ is a term badly misunderstood; most people terribly fail to grasp its true meaning. In its literal sense, the word is the exact opposite of success. In reality, however, it is one of the most crucial elements of success itself. And we have thousands of actual success stories to back it up. Therefore, dealing with failure is one of the most important ability one needs in order to achieve success.

Unfortunately, failure in an entrepreneurial life doesn’t always mean low sales for a season or a marketing campaign that backfires. Things can get worse as soon as they start to look great. You can even get fired from a company you founded. The good news is, latest polls conducted by Ipsos reveal one amazing fact about entrepreneurs in general – they tend to have thicker skin. It is indeed a trait one needs in order to overcome failure. Not all of them are born with it, it is something they develop through sheer determination. Here are some of the most effective ways entrepreneurs learn to successfully deal with failure.

Meet Failure as an Old Friend

Old as in someone with experience and wisdom – someone you can learn from. Failures can teach you more than success. Failing a hundred times means learning one hundred ways that don’t work, and eventually discovering the one that would. It is important to reflect back on how you reached the negative outcome and try to discover and identify what actually went wrong. More often than not, it is one small move that turns the whole thing upside down.

Accept that Results and Responsibilities

What keeps entrepreneurs back is the habit of denial. Whether you are denying the fact that you have failed or the responsibility of that failure, it won’t play out in your favor. Accepting failure as it occurs save you from investing more efforts and resources on a lost cause; it will save you from exhaustion and frustration. Denying the responsibility will limit your ability to learn and improve. Consequently, you will find yourself stuck in the same spot or simply running around it in circles.

Overall, it is all about changing the way you perceive failure in order to deal with it. Don’t think of failure as a dead end, take it as a clear sign to make a turn. With each turn, you get closer and closer to your destination.

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Leadership

Many a times we set goals for ourselves without really thinking what we actually wish to achieve from of them. Only after reaching the destination we set our eyes on, we realize it wasn’t even worth the whole journey to begin with. Worst is the situation when we still insist of pursuing the same goal despite knowing we are not achieving anything from it. This is indeed one of the biggest leadership fails. Your journey as a leader should begin only after you have set the right goals for you and your team – goals that matter and goals that actually result in growth and improvement for everyone involved in the journey.

Understand the Need to Change Goals

While determination and resolve are great traits to have as a leader, flexibility is one thing that goes a long way. Flexibility is what lets you bounce back from a fall, learn from your mistake. It saves you from the state of denial, and lets you through the first step of dealing with failures i.e. accepting the failure. It applies to setting goals as well. As a leader, you should know that goals may be needed to change for many reasons. It could be because they weren’t right to begin with or because they became obsolete or less important because of other variables. What should remain constant is your vision; the moment you find your goals drifting away from that vision, know that you need to set better, more relevant goals. Successful corporations treat goals as milestones and go for new ones after certain period of time.

Take It Up a Notch

Your previous goals may have result in positive growth, but with that growth comes the need to aim higher. Consistency kills competitive edge. If you reached the second best position this year, you need to aim for the lead this year. If you gained lead this year, you need to set new standards next year. If your goals aren’t challenging enough, they won’t be useful enough. There is no point wasting your efforts on maintaining the same position. Eventually, your best won’t be best enough. So, as a leader you must be as brave as you are wise. Even if you missed a few goals this time, review your strategy to find out what went wrong and go for bigger goals with you improved strategy.

Lastly, let your team in on the change. Get their input on the goals you have achieved and ones you missed. Set goals that are aligned to that one vision you share with the whole team and start anew with new goals, new strategies and new zeal.

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Leadership

There has been a lot of talk about how the current generation that just entered the workplace is not hard-working enough. A lot of downright scathing articles can be found in business magazines and websites that disparage millennials and talk about their shortcomings. The one complaint that a lot of leaders these days echo is that the millennial generation thinks of themselves as entitled and does not expect to put in as much of an effort as they themselves did. This is causing a lot of leadership issues.


The reality is that millennials aren’t too different from any other generation that has entered the workplace. The millennials are not entitled. They do not ask for too much. They are actually one of the most open minded and tolerant generations we have ever seen. Millennials aren’t the problem – the environment they grew up in is the problem. Good leadership requires and understanding of the motivation of the people working under the leader thus it is essential for business leaders to understand what makes millennials tick.

Millennials do not have financial security


Here’s the biggest reason that so many leaders think that millennials are entitled: they have no idea how vulnerable millennials are. They are one of the most disadvantages generations since the great depression ended.

A lot of people who are business leaders these days started their careers out in the 70s, 80,s or the 90s. What people do not understand is that it was a booming time for business and one of the best times for the middle class in the developed world.

Leadership Financial Carrot

It was possible for a person flipping burgers to buy a car and start paying off their student loans. Someone flipping burgers today can barely pay their bills. It was possible to have an entry level job and afford a house in the suburbs. Entry level workers nowadays cannot even afford rent – many of them end up living with roommates simply because their entry level jobs cannot cover their expenses.

More young people are living with their parents now than ever before simply because they cannot afford to move out even with jobs.


Millennials do not believe in the system


The lack of financial security means they do not believe in the system. A hardworking fast food employee could buy a car or pay their college tuition. People used to work hard not because the previous generations had hard-work in their genes, but because they knew they would get something out of it. They knew that if they flipped burgers for a year they will be able to save a little money. They knew that if they stuck in the job for a year or two they will easily be able to afford a house and raise a family.


Millennials do not believe in the systemThe current generation has no carrot in front of it; it only has a stick behind it. It doesn’t have a carrot in front of it because they are barely scraping by. They don’t really see many job prospects and are worried about their futures. You cannot expect someone in such a situation to be chirpy and motivated about a stupid job.

We did not have problems with ‘stupid mindless’ jobs because while the jobs were stupid the pay wasn’t. Nowadays millennials look for jobs that offer them validation and self-worth because they know they won’t be able to get by on just the little amount of money they make.


Leadership for the current generation means making the current generation believe in their being a carrot in front of them. It means outlining clear career progression paths and explaining how they can grow in the company. If you cannot seem to connect with the millennials, you need to start taking their problems seriously.

 

 

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Leadership

Leadership means being able to lead people. It means having the ability to change the way things are done. Followers are nothing without a leader, true, but a leader is nothing without followers either. One cannot be a captain without a ship or a king without a throne. Similarly, one cannot be a leader unless they have loyal followers.

A lot of people complain about loyalty in the business world. They say that the people who work under them are ungrateful or undependable. They talk about how the people under them often go missing without a notice or leave for another job after they have spent valuable time training them.

Do you know what all the people who complain about these things are missing? Loyal followers. We need to understand what loyalty is and what we keep getting wrong about loyalty.

A true leader has loyal followers. Sadly, there are many misconceptions among business leaders which prevent them from cultivating loyalty.


Understanding Loyalty and it’s link to selfishness

Leadership Loyalty Hope

A lot of people think that loyalty means not being selfish and instead doing what the leader says.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Loyalty is not the lack of selfishness; it is the harnessing of selfishness. People aren’t loyal to you because they are willing to sacrifice their own progress for you.

People are loyal to you because they believe that you are going to do things better for them than they would be able to do on their own.

Loyal people are selfish too – but they are selfish people who truly believe that you have their betterment in your mind and that the decisions you take will be good for them. That is why they follow the leader – not because they are sycophants who need to be told what to do, but because they believe that the leader is intelligent enough that they will make the best decisions for everyone.


We need to decouple business leadership from military leadership

LeadershipRead business leadership books, watch leadership talks, or listen to leadership lectures, and you will notice a lot of military stories and examples. People will talk about how the military leaders led the soldiers to victory and how there is a lesson in there for all of us. The reality is that there is no lesson for business leadership in military leadership. Militaries are full of people who love the country and have agreed to do whatever it takes to protect the country. They are willing to risk their lives in foreign lands to ensure no one can touch their homeland.

Business leaders, on the other hand, are trying to order around people who just want to make enough money so they have food and they can buy nicer clothes. Unless your company has employees that are willing to die for the company military leadership is not an ideal example to follow. Many managers get frustrated about ‘disobedience’ or ‘disloyalty’ from their followers. Understand that this isn’t an army and you are not leading a charge against the enemy. People aren’t going to be loyal to you just because you say so.

Instead, you need to give them a reason to be loyal to you. Stand up for them and look out for them. No person will follow you if they think you do not care about them. True business leaders are those who are followed by people who trust the knowledge and experience of the leaders. You need to inspire a vision in your people if you want them to be loyal. More importantly – they need to be rewarded. You need to actually care about people if you want them to follow you wherever need.

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